- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A state police sergeant who allegedly skipped a required step in the calibration of alcohol breath-testing devices has pleaded not guilty to records tampering and other charges.

Marc Dennis entered the plea during his arraignment Monday. He remains suspended without pay.

Dennis was a coordinator in the state police’s alcohol and drug testing unit. He’s accused of deliberately omitting a step in re-calibrating three devices used to test the intoxication level of accused drunken drivers.

Dennis was indicted last month on charges of official misconduct, tampering with public records and falsifying records.

State authorities have identified 20,667 cases involving devices Dennis handled. They say the step he’s accused of skipping isn’t scientifically necessary but is required under a procedure developed by the chief forensic scientist for state police.

While acknowledging that potentially thousands of cases could be affected, officials believe the number of those who will successfully overturn their convictions is likely far lower.

The state Division of Criminal Justice has asked that a special judge be appointed to handle the potential glut of legal challenges that could come due to Dennis‘ alleged actions, but a decision on that request has not been made.

The state also faces a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of potentially thousands of people convicted based on results from machines he calibrated.


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